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EU's Juncker makes last-minute offer to Greece: sources

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a last-minute offer to Athens in a bid to reach a bailout agreement before the deadline expires on Tuesday, European Union and Greek government sources said.

[ATHENS] European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made a last-minute offer to Athens in a bid to reach a bailout agreement before the deadline expires on Tuesday, European Union and Greek government sources said.

Under the offer, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would have to send written acceptance by Tuesday, in time for an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers to be held and agree to campaign in favour of the bailout in the planned July 5 referendum.

However, there was little sign that Mr Tsipras was prepared to drop his repeated rejections of the bailout offer, which he has dismissed as a "humiliation" for Greece.

A Greek government official said that it listened with interest to what was being proposed but said: "Alexis Tsipras will vote "no" on Sunday".

Tsipras would have to send a written acceptance of the version of proposals from the lenders published on Sunday, with a pledge to campaign for them to be accepted in the planned July 5 referendum.

The offer published on Sunday incorporated a proposal from Greece that would set value-added tax rates on hotels at 13 per cent, rather than at 23 per cent as originally planned in the lenders' proposals. It was not immediately clear whether there would be any additional changes.

If the offer were accepted, the euro zone finance ministers could adopt a statement saying that a 2012 pledge to consider stretching out loan maturities, lowering interest rates and extending an interest payment moratorium on euro zone loans to Greece would be implemented in October.

The offer would be conditional on a letter to Mr Juncker, Eurogroup chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande arriving in time to arrange an emergency meeting of the Eurogroup on Tuesday.

REUTERS

 

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